My research focuses on how the participants of an opera ensemble deploy different communicative strategies to create an opera performance, particularly how voice is used in different ways to contribute to meaning making in interaction. With the aid of multimodal interaction analysis, I examine the relationship between voice and other semiotic resources such as language, body and gaze.
I examine the descriptive and depictive strategies that the participants deploy during scenic opera rehearsals, when embodied dramatic actions are being created, to negotiate the aesthetics of the performance, and how voice may figure in these negotiations. Although in the final performance, the dramatic actions are to be coordinated with song, my research shows how other vocal approaches may be opted for during the rehearsals (for instance non-lexical vocalizations, spoken or approximated libretto text or descriptive language). How are these vocal approaches used in the interaction and what does that tell us about the phenomenon of voice?
My PhD is a part of the Non-lexical vocalizations project, led by professor Leelo Keevallik. The aim of the project is to examine the distinctions between language and non-language as well as language and the body.